Russia-Ukraine war: concerns over security of captured nuclear plant; three grain ships depart Ukraine – live – The Guardian


From 2h ago

Russia likely undermining safety of captured nuclear plant, says UK intelligence

In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK’s Ministry of Defence focuses on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

It says that while Russia’s intentions for the plant remain unclear, “the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations”.

The MoD adds:

Russian forces are probably operating in the regions adjacent to the power station and have used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river.

Russian forces have probably used the wider facility area, in particular the adjacent city of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, utilising the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks.

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Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 5 August 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/8Uv3JnpVgm

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/lck9qAjhqM

&mdash; Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 5, 2022

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Three ships carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of grain have now left Ukrainian ports, according to the Turkish defence ministry and the Reuters news agency.

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These departures follow an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease a growing global food crisis.

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Two of the ships set off from Chornomorsk and the other departed from nearby Odesa. In total, Reuters said, they are carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn.

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On Twitter, Turkey’s defence ministry said the Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 tonnes of corn, was bound for Ireland.

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It added that the Maltese-flagged Rojen, carrying 13,000 tonnes of corn, was heading for the UK.

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The Turkish-flagged ship Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn, is on course for the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu.

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ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports","contributors":[],"primaryDateLine":"Fri 5 Aug 2022 08.53 BST","secondaryDateLine":"First published on Fri 5 Aug 2022 05.42 BST"},{"id":"62ecb2e38f08cf33fef35893","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK’s Ministry of Defence focuses on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

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It says that while Russia’s intentions for the plant remain unclear, “the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations”.

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The MoD adds:

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Russian forces are probably operating in the regions adjacent to the power station and have used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river.

\n

Russian forces have probably used the wider facility area, in particular the adjacent city of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, utilising the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks.

\n

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Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 5 August 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/8Uv3JnpVgm

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/lck9qAjhqM

&mdash; Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 5, 2022

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A team of inspectors in Turkey on Friday began checking an empty cargo ship before it heads off to collect grain from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk under a deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports, the Turkish Defence Ministry has said.

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The ministry published photos on Twitter showing the inspection team boarding a boat to head out to the Barbados-flagged general cargo ship Fulmar S, which was at anchor in the Black Sea just to the north of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait.

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Ukrayna’nın Çernomorsk Limanı’ndan tahıl almaya gitmek üzere İstanbul’un kuzeyindeki demir yerinde bulunan Barbados bandıralı FULMAR S isimli boş geminin Müşterek Koordinasyon Merkezi timi tarafından denetimine başlanmıştır. pic.twitter.com/hItI1XYVsb

&mdash; T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 5, 2022

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Good morning and welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These are the latest developments

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    \n

  • Ukraine has ceded some territory in the Donbas region to Russian forces, with Kyiv acknowledging Russia’s “partial success” in recent days. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has described the pressure his forces are under in the east of the country as “hell”. They have recaptured two villages near the city of Sloviansk, according to Ukrainian general Oleksiy Hromov, but have been forced to abandon a coal mine regarded as a key defensive position as forces are pushed to the outskirts of Avdiivka.
  • \n

  • Russia may launch an offensive in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson to try to wrest back momentum from Kyiv and has been visibly building up forces, Hromov said on Thursday. Much of the region is already occupied by Russia after it captured areas at the beginning of its invasion, but Ukrainian forces have been developing a counter-offensive to regain territory.
  • \n

  • Three more ships carrying grain have been authorised to leave Ukraine’s ports on Friday as part of an international accord brokered to unblock grain exports and alleviate the global food crisis. The ships are bound for Turkey, Ireland and the UK. Millions of tonnes of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia invaded just over six months ago.
  • \n

  • Ukraine will receive another financing package worth about $8bn from the European Union by September, a German government source told Reuters.
  • \n

  • Canada is sending up to 225 Canadian armed forces to the UK to recommence the training of Ukrainian military recruits, the Canadian defence minister has announced. Since 2015, Canada has trained 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel but in February paused aspects of the training.
  • \n

  • Eight people have been killed and four wounded in Russian artillery shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk in Donetsk oblast on Thursday, the regional governor has said. The shelling hit a public transport stop where people had gathered. Three children were among the wounded, said the area’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko.
  • \n

  • Nato members are working closely with defence companies to ensure Ukraine gets more supplies of weapons and equipment to be prepared for a drawn out war with Russia, the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday. He told Reuters in an interview: “We are providing a lot of support but we need to do even more and be prepared for the long haul.”
  • \n

  • A US official accused Moscow of preparing to plant fake evidence to make it look like the recent mass killing of Ukrainian prisoners in an attack on a Russian-controlled prison was caused by Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the strikes on the prison in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine, last week.
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  • Amnesty International has said the Ukrainian army is endangering the life of civilians by basing themselves in residential areas. The report has been rejected by Ukrainian government representatives, who say it places blame on Ukraine for Russia’s invasion. The human rights group’s researchers found that Ukrainian forces were using some schools and hospitals as bases, firing near houses and sometimes living in residential flats. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, accused Amnesty of “distorting the real picture” and of failing to understand the situation on the ground.
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Key events

Tory Shepherd

Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, has walked out during her Russian counterpart’s address to the East Asia summit in Cambodia.

It is understood an Australian official was still present while the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, spoke, and that it was not a pre-planned protest from Wong.

“Minister Wong could not sit through Mr Lavrov’s attempt to justify the murder of innocent Ukrainians,” a spokesperson said.

Last month, at the G20 in Indonesia, Wong said Russia’s aggression “cannot be normalised and it cannot be minimised”.

She added:

Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal invasion of Ukraine is not only the cause of untold loss of life and damage.

It is not only a primary cause of the global energy and food security crisis wreaking havoc on our economies and pushing millions more of the world’s people into severe food insecurity.

It is also a profound breach of trust. And it is up to all nations to hold this breach to account, or the cost will be borne by all of us.

This was first reported in our Australia news live blog.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has responded directly to yesterday’s report from Amnesty International, which suggested Ukrainian forces’ tactics are endangering civilians.

The human rights group’s researchers found that Ukrainian forces were using some schools and hospitals as bases, firing near houses and sometimes living in residential flats. The report concluded that this meant in some instances Russian forces would respond to an attack or target residential areas – putting civilians at risk and damaging civilian infrastructure.

In response, Zelenskiy said:

There cannot be – even hypothetically – any condition under which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified.

Aggression against our state is unprovoked, invasive and openly terroristic.

And if someone makes a report in which the victim and the aggressor are allegedly the same in something, if some data about the victim is analysed and what the aggressor was doing at that time is ignored, this cannot be tolerated.

Updated at 08.53 BST

Three ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports

Three ships carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of grain have now left Ukrainian ports, according to the Turkish defence ministry and the Reuters news agency.

These departures follow an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease a growing global food crisis.

Two of the ships set off from Chornomorsk and the other departed from nearby Odesa. In total, Reuters said, they are carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn.

The bulk carrier Rojen leaves the sea port in Chornomorsk on Friday morning
The bulk carrier Rojen leaves the sea port in Chornomorsk on Friday morning. Photograph: Reuters

On Twitter, Turkey’s defence ministry said the Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 tonnes of corn, was bound for Ireland.

It added that the Maltese-flagged Rojen, carrying 13,000 tonnes of corn, was heading for the UK.

The Turkish-flagged ship Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn, is on course for the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu.

The Turkish-flagged Polarnet after leaving Chornomorsk on Friday
The Turkish-flagged Polarnet after leaving Chornomorsk on Friday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Updated at 08.18 BST

Below are some of the latest images being filed from photographers on the ground in Ukraine:

Ukrainian servicemen load a Bureviy multiple launch rocket system at a position in Kharkiv
Ukrainian servicemen load a Bureviy multiple launch rocket system at a position in Kharkiv Photograph: Reuters
Two women look through the window of a tram in Kramatorsk
Two women look through the window of a tram in Kramatorsk Photograph: Bülent Kılıç/AFP/Getty Images
A Ukrainian soldier with part of rocket fired by Russian forces in Bakhmut
A Ukrainian soldier with part of rocket fired by Russian forces in Bakhmut Photograph: Bülent Kılıç/AFP/Getty Images

Russia likely undermining safety of captured nuclear plant, says UK intelligence

In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK’s Ministry of Defence focuses on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

It says that while Russia’s intentions for the plant remain unclear, “the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations”.

The MoD adds:

Russian forces are probably operating in the regions adjacent to the power station and have used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river.

Russian forces have probably used the wider facility area, in particular the adjacent city of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, utilising the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks.

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Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 5 August 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/8Uv3JnpVgm

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/lck9qAjhqM

&mdash; Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 5, 2022

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Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are due to meet for talks on Friday, with Ukraine and Syria expected to dominate the agenda.

Erdoğan will be riding high from the diplomatic success of helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments across the Black Sea when he visits Sochi for his second talks with Putin in just over two weeks. Turkey wants to translate this success into truce talks in Istanbul between Putin and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

But there are tensions. The Turkish leader was told by Putin in Tehran last month that Russia remains opposed to any new offensive that Turkey might be planning against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

Updated at 07.24 BST

Inspectors begin checking cargo ship in Black Sea

A team of inspectors in Turkey on Friday began checking an empty cargo ship before it heads off to collect grain from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk under a deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports, the Turkish Defence Ministry has said.

The ministry published photos on Twitter showing the inspection team boarding a boat to head out to the Barbados-flagged general cargo ship Fulmar S, which was at anchor in the Black Sea just to the north of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait.

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Ukrayna’nın Çernomorsk Limanı’ndan tahıl almaya gitmek üzere İstanbul’un kuzeyindeki demir yerinde bulunan Barbados bandıralı FULMAR S isimli boş geminin Müşterek Koordinasyon Merkezi timi tarafından denetimine başlanmıştır. pic.twitter.com/hItI1XYVsb

&mdash; T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 5, 2022

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Ukrayna’nın Çernomorsk Limanı’ndan tahıl almaya gitmek üzere İstanbul’un kuzeyindeki demir yerinde bulunan Barbados bandıralı FULMAR S isimli boş geminin Müşterek Koordinasyon Merkezi timi tarafından denetimine başlanmıştır. pic.twitter.com/hItI1XYVsb

— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 5, 2022

Updated at 06.41 BST

Ukraine has called for the deal that relaxes Russia’s blockade of its Black Sea grain exports to be extended to include other products, such as metals, the Financial Times has reported.

“This agreement is about logistics, about the movement of vessels through the Black Sea,” Ukraine’s deputy economy minister Taras Kachka told FT. “What’s the difference between grain and iron ore?”

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has lashed out at Amnesty International after it accused his forces of violating international law and endangering civilians in their defence against Russia’s invasion.

In a report on Thursday, Amnesty listed incidents in 19 cities and towns in which Ukrainian forces appeared to have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases in residential areas – findings Zelenskiy equated to victim blaming in his evening address.

The rights group, he said, had sought to offer “amnesty (to) the terrorist state and shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.

“There is no condition, even hypothetically, under which any Russian strike on Ukraine becomes justified. Aggression against our state is unprovoked, invasive and terrorist.

If someone makes a report in which the victim and the aggressor are supposedly equal in some way … then this cannot be tolerated.”

Relatives of prisoners of war captured by the Russians following the fall of Mariupol gathered in central Kyiv Thursday demanding information about their husbands, fathers and sons following a strike on a prison housing PoWs in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine last week that killed and wounded dozens.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the attack, while US officials believe Russia is looking to plant false evidence to make it appear that Ukrainian forces were responsible.

Relatives of prisoners of war are increasingly frustrated at the lack of information they are getting about the fate of their loved ones. Because the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) acted as a guarantor of the security of the military members who left Azovstal in May, they are looking to the committee to give them answers.

“Our goal is to reach the Red Cross, to say that they are not fulfilling their duties. We entrusted them with the lives of our boys,” says Iryna Yermoshyna, the wife of a PoW.

Protesters, including a woman covered in fake blood, hold signs condemning the attack on Olenivka
Olha, wife of a defender of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, at Thursday’s rally in Kyiv. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Summary and welcome

Good morning and welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These are the latest developments

  • Ukraine has ceded some territory in the Donbas region to Russian forces, with Kyiv acknowledging Russia’s “partial success” in recent days. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has described the pressure his forces are under in the east of the country as “hell”. They have recaptured two villages near the city of Sloviansk, according to Ukrainian general Oleksiy Hromov, but have been forced to abandon a coal mine regarded as a key defensive position as forces are pushed to the outskirts of Avdiivka.
  • Russia may launch an offensive in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson to try to wrest back momentum from Kyiv and has been visibly building up forces, Hromov said on Thursday. Much of the region is already occupied by Russia after it captured areas at the beginning of its invasion, but Ukrainian forces have been developing a counter-offensive to regain territory.
  • Three more ships carrying grain have been authorised to leave Ukraine’s ports on Friday as part of an international accord brokered to unblock grain exports and alleviate the global food crisis. The ships are bound for Turkey, Ireland and the UK. Millions of tonnes of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia invaded just over six months ago.
  • Ukraine will receive another financing package worth about $8bn from the European Union by September, a German government source told Reuters.
  • Canada is sending up to 225 Canadian armed forces to the UK to recommence the training of Ukrainian military recruits, the Canadian defence minister has announced. Since 2015, Canada has trained 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel but in February paused aspects of the training.
  • Eight people have been killed and four wounded in Russian artillery shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Toretsk in Donetsk oblast on Thursday, the regional governor has said. The shelling hit a public transport stop where people had gathered. Three children were among the wounded, said the area’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko.
  • Nato members are working closely with defence companies to ensure Ukraine gets more supplies of weapons and equipment to be prepared for a drawn out war with Russia, the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday. He told Reuters in an interview: “We are providing a lot of support but we need to do even more and be prepared for the long haul.”
  • A US official accused Moscow of preparing to plant fake evidence to make it look like the recent mass killing of Ukrainian prisoners in an attack on a Russian-controlled prison was caused by Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the strikes on the prison in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine, last week.
  • Amnesty International has said the Ukrainian army is endangering the life of civilians by basing themselves in residential areas. The report has been rejected by Ukrainian government representatives, who say it places blame on Ukraine for Russia’s invasion. The human rights group’s researchers found that Ukrainian forces were using some schools and hospitals as bases, firing near houses and sometimes living in residential flats. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, accused Amnesty of “distorting the real picture” and of failing to understand the situation on the ground.

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